James borrell is a conservation scientist and science communicator, with a particular interest in how species adapt to changing climate.

Building A Social Enterprise (and why this blog will be quiet for the next few weeks)

Blog posts have been a little less frequent over the past few weeks and probably will be for a while longer. There’s a good reason behind it, so I thought it might be worth a quick post explaining why.

Back in January I pitched an idea to a panel of rather smart business folks. I thought anything conservation related might be a tough sell, but I gave it a shot anyway.

My ‘idea’ is to help share stories directly from scientists working in remote and challenging locations around the world. Stories not just about science and conservation, but also what it’s really like to live and work in these environments. The ‘business’ side of it, is that I hope to raise a modest amount of money through sponsors and adverts. All of which, will go towards bursaries for young people to head off on their first fieldwork expeditions.

So in a nutshell, my business idea was to make no money at all. But it’s something I’m passionate about, enjoy working on, and think (hope!) just might work. When I started out a lot of kind organizations, charities and sponsors helped support me on my first couple of expeditions, and so this seems like a natural progression to pay back some of that kindness.

Surprisingly though, the panel of business folks really liked it and together with UnLtd (worth looking up – they support ‘Social Entreprenuers’ with advice and resources), they gave me a small grant to develop the concept – Discover Conservation.

And ‘developing’ is what I’ve been doing the past few months, in moments of spare time squeezed between adventures, research and fieldwork of my own! There’s still some way to go before it’s ready, but I’m proud of the way its coming along. As a result, this has been taking much of my attention and not leaving very much time to write, but I hope it will be worth it in the end.

If it’s something you think you might be interested in, and if you’re reading this blog I hope there’s a good chance of that(!), then sign up at www.DiscoverConservation.org to be informed as soon as we launch.

If you’ve already written to me about getting involved, helping or advertising, then rest assured I’ll be in touch (or if you want to express an interest, send me a message).

Last, but not least, here is our logo brilliantly designed by Neil Monteiro of the Anturus team.


In the mean time, I’m very pleased that the readership of this blog has been steadily growing. This is coincidentally my 300th post, and so I’m going to cheat a little bit and offer a selection of blog posts from the past year that new readers probably haven’t seen before.

It’s a little bit of a cop out, but I hope you’ll enjoy Discover Conservation when it’s launched later this year, and normal service will resume soon!